Ginger Grammar tool is a neat program that offers both free and premium access. It's one of the best online grammar checkers (opens in new tab), mainly because it's easy to use, and there is a simple to install and operate version that you can get for absolutely free. We used to Chrome Extension version to test this free option, before moving on to the premium paid-for option. We found the cost for this to be pretty reasonable, especially as there are frequent discounts on the full price. However much we enjoy using Ginger, however, it can't quite match Grammarly (opens in new tab), which remains our top pick.
When we ran student-written documents through Ginger, it only caught five errors, compared to Grammarly’s 15. Of those five, only four were actual grammar errors that needed to be fixed. The program didn’t detect passive voice, though it found a few misspelled words. Based on these writing tests, it seems that Ginger’s dictionary isn’t as extensive as Grammarly’s.
The software’s premium version does a slightly better job finding errors than the free version – where the premium version found five errors in the student papers, the free version only found three. Even though it’s one of the more expensive programs out there, I recommend upgrading to premium if you plan to use Ginger. However, if you're simply interested in catching a few grammar errors in emails, then the free Chrome extension works just fine.
When you use Grammarly’s software, you can find out more about a problem it flags by clicking on a link that opens a window with a more detailed explanation. On the other hand, Ginger has pretty sparse feedback, usually just one or two words to explain the error.
The premium program has links to videos that discuss common grammar errors so you can learn to avoid them in the first place. In addition, the software keeps a record of all the sentences it checks that contain errors so you can review them and get a better sense of the most common mistakes you make. We found this useful but preferred programs that showed this information in a chart or graph rather than an itemized list as Ginger does. The system also gives you an overall score for your writing based on the number of spelling and grammar errors you make. You can even test yourself by making personalized lessons, based on the mistakes you make the most, which is a neat touch.
Ginger was easy to install on our computer and Chrome browser, and signing up can be done via Facebook or Google login. We also didn’t encounter any problems with payments or downloading the program, unlike with some of the other checkers we tested, though that’s a low bar. The program has a clean design with a lot of symbols. Initially, it can be difficult to find your way around, and the program doesn’t start you with a tutorial.
We didn’t love Ginger’s text checking technique in Word, and we're baffled by the fact it doesn't support Google Docs at all. The program runs quickly through your writing at the top of your screen, only pausing when it finds an error. As such, it’s difficult to compare the suggestion the program gives with the surrounding text in the document. One thing we did note about the free Chrome extension is that it runs slowly and inconsistently (sometimes, it simply doesn't assess highlighted text), and will often serve pop-ups encouraging you to upgrade to premium. Annoying, but understandable for a free grammar checker.
Ginger’s premium program comes with a translator that cover 60 languages, but we didn’t find it to be any better than Google Translate, which you have access to for free. The program has both a dictionary and a thesaurus, which is convenient. However, Google provides a wider variety of dictionary results than the software’s closed system. You can add words to the dictionary, which is important if you use the program professionally because you’ll likely want to use language unique to your industry.
It’s also easy to ignore suggestions in Ginger by clicking the text buttons. In addition, there’s an Accept All button, which we suggest you never use. As we used the program, we found several suggestions that made the errors worse than they originally were.
Ginger has a few tutorial videos to help you understand how the program works, but they are buried in the program’s menu rather than being a part of your initial walkthrough. Its support page has download help for several different browsers, and if you can’t find what you’re looking for there, you can contact email customer support.
If you’re an English Language Learner or a student, we recommend using a human editor for feedback on your writing rather than subscribing to an online grammar service. While Ginger was more accurate than the worst performing online grammar checkers, it’s not safe to rely solely on it for accurate feedback.